- By Edward Clifford
The old couch cushion tipped you toward him;
hunched and skeletal, he didn't make a dent.
See how that could feel to him like pressure?
(His therapist, gently.) But (her quick glance,
his nod, negotiations with the god)
—From "The Underworld Also Swallows Sons," Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)
Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In elementary school, I wrote what felt to me like an epic poem (in rhymed quatrains) about a hero called Fred. What was truly “epic”: it won a contest in my northwest Chicago school district, so I was invited to one of the Young Writer’s Workshops that Gwendolyn Brooks hosted as the Poet Laureate of Illinois. When she recited “We...